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Experts Say Don’t Wear Night Driving Glasses

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Night time is one of the most worrying times to be on the road, and if it weren’t bad enough to be driving in the dark, there are the headlights of oncoming cars to dazzle your eyes. The latest thing that people use to fight this is “night driving glasses,” which are usually amber-colored plastic glasses. But do they work?

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What the manufacturers say

Manufacturers sure seem to think the glasses work. For example, the “Amazon’s Choice” for night-driving glasses is an amber-lens pair that look like safety glasses from a construction zone. The seller, “Clear Night,” claims that the glasses reduce glare, writing “Don’t risk your safety and the safety of others, be prepared.”

Another manufacturer, VS-Eyewear, goes on at length about the reduction in UV light intake and glare, saying that it blocks much of the blue light that causes haze. It claims that this will improve your depth perception, vision contrast, and prevent headaches from light.

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What vision experts say

However, what do vision experts say? Well, ophthalmologists are far from convinced. Andrew Iwach, MD, from the American Academy of Ophthalmology expressed doubts talking to ABC earlier this year. His point was that these glasses block some light coming in, and when driving in the dark your eyes need all the light that you can get. Thus, anything that reduces incoming light could cause more problems than it solves.

Laramy-K Optical, an independent optical lab, wrote about these glasses way back in 2010. It cited the book “Forensic Aspects of Vision and Highway Safety” by Merrill J. Allen, O.D., PH. D., et al., which says that yellow night driving glasses offer no real benefit, but instead reduce the amount of incoming light. The book says that they just give the driver a sense of seeing better, without actually improving vision.

So, what do the experts say you should do? First, they recommend you get your eyes checked, because problems with dazzling headlights can be an early sign of cataracts. If you wear glasses, they also recommend getting a clear pair with an anti-reflective coating. Above all, though, do a little cleaning. Specifically, wipe down the inside of the windshield as well as the outside, clean the lenses of your glasses, and scrub your headlights. Often people don’t realize that they inside of the windshield builds up dirt over time that can cause glare.

News Sources: U.S. News & World Report, American Academy of Ophthalmology, ABC, LensCrafters, Laramy-K Optical, Auto Express, Amazon, VS-Eyewear